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Justice Lewandowski opens seminar on international human rights law

The President of the National Council of Justice (CNJ) and Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), Ricardo Lewandowski, opened this Tuesday (7), the seminar "The International Law of Human Rights in face of the National Judicial Powers", organized by the CNJ, the STF, the Superior Labour Court (TST), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The event has the presence of the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Roberto Caldas, in addition to experts and renowned jurists.

"The debate to be made certainly walk beyond the simple analyses of concrete cases, because it aims to promote the relevant discussion about the conventionality control, theme that needs a better examination, either at the Academy, either in courts or by the Law operators in general", said the Justice.

Lewandowski also noted that Brazil has been facing central themes with regard to the protection of fundamental rights of the human person. "It is true that there is still much to do on this issue, but our contribution is printed on emblematic cases revealed by the Supreme Court's jurisprudence, especially to combat discrimination of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc., having the Court drafted the first steps to validate the affirmative actions among us.

Another breakthrough remembered by Justice Lewandowski was the deployment by the CNJ of the custody hearings - project that enables any citizen arrested to present himself to a judge within 24 hours. "The policy of promotion of custody hearings was inspired in item 5 of the seventh article of the American Convention on Human Rights and is now in full operation in the capitals of the 27 units of the Brazilian Federation," said the Justice. To the President of the Inter-American Court, Roberto Caldas, custody hearings are, in fact, a great success and a great program to be followed.

Rights of indigenous peoples

In one of the debates promoted by the seminar on Tuesday (7), Patricio Pazmiño, judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, said that International Conventions on the rights of indigenous peoples are crucial to rebalance the status quo of these populations. The judge pointed out that the international conventions on the rights of indigenous peoples are nothing more than a set of standards with the objective of guaranteeing rights to certain collectives. According to him, while this approach may seem a concession of privilege to certain groups, it nothing else does that repair situations of injustice which continued for long periods.

Also claimed there is not one case in which a State's formation has occurred by mutual agreement and with the consent of the indigenous population to the use of their land by others, on the contrary, he explained, in most of the cases, traditional populations were sacrificed and in several cases, object of genocide, forced labour or slavery.

According to Pazmiño, the international concern in ensuring indigenous peoples rights starts with the Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Since then several countries of Latin America have included chapters on the topic in their constitutions and the process would have culminated with the adoption by the United Nations (UN) of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. In the judge's understanding, these rules make use of the institutional system to homogenize societies.

The judge notes that, among the main rights of traditional peoples, there are the self-determination and territoriality. He pointed out that, in repeated decisions, the Inter-American Court has affirmed the right of indigenous peoples to have their territory recognized based on historical and cultural references, and not in exact geographical references, such as occurs with the boundaries between countries.


In Panel with the theme "Slave labour and migrants in vulnerable situation", the judge Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, General Secretary of the Inter-American Court, emphasized the need for migrants and refugees to be treated like a normal worker in the country in which they are. According to him, because of the vulnerability, they end up working illegally or led to forced labour, and even to cases of slavery. According to him, there are now more than 200,000,000 of migrants and 18,000,000 of refugees around the world.

Saavedra underscored the need of the State to combat the recruitment of migrant workers when they don't have the same conditions as national workers. According to him, such discrimination on the part of the State is intolerable and may result in its liability in Inter-american Court. He pointed out that the refugees, for having migrated because of fear or some kind of persecution should have special protection as a result of greater vulnerability.



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